Consumers should be cautious about buying meat, poultry and produce from “fly-by-night” vendors, warns Director of Agriculture Gregory Bailey.
Speaking on the issue of praedial larceny, Bailey says livestock might have been given antibiotics or other treatments, and – unaware of this – thieves make off with the animals.
With produce, he says that farmers might spray insecticide on the plants – which renders them not ready for market as yet, due to the high levels of poison they contain at this stage. Yet, thieves may raid the farms, harvest the produce, and sell it.
Both circumstances pose health risks to persons who purchase such meat and plant products, Bailey notes.
To avoid the medication being ingested by humans through the meat, the Director explains that a certain period of time must pass before the animal is slaughtered.
This also applies to produce, which – if ingested after being sprayed – can be fatal.
Accordingly, everyone has a role to play in stopping praedial larceny and ensuring food safety, Bailey says.
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